Please keep me posted as to your address.
Dearest Auntie --
I didn't answer your letter before because I had a sort of wild hope that I might make a flying trip to Chicago and have a last glimpse of both your dear self and Dorothy before you put the grey, old Atlantic between us. It is a year since I last saw you and well over two since I saw Dorothy and I am awfully homesick for you both but it seems as if I really can't get off at this [page 2] time.
Our new cashier -- of the bank -- doesn't come until the first of May and until he does come I am tied close. It is a great relief to have Will gone and the new man -- Mr. Jenkins -- seems a very capable, likeable sort of fellow. He is thirty-one, has a superior type of wife and two boys. We think he will fit in well with this community.
We are all settled on the farm and the herd is doing splendidly. You know, it really is the finest in this part of [page 3] the state. Manuel went to Topeka a couple of weeks ago and bought five more cows as our business is growing so we had to have more milk. They are up to the standard of our others. He paid four hundred and fifty five dollars for one so you can see the kind of cows they are -- and we have sixteen of that class besides the good "grade" ones. The one I just spoke of has the biggest udder you ever saw on a cow. We were offered one hundred dollars apiece for our three baby calves a few days ago [page 4] but the boys don't want to sell them at all as they are heifers and we want to raise them for our own use. Also, we have a magnificent, pure blooded Percheron stallion. He is a glorious brute, a veritable king. Incidentally we have three dogs. One of them is a pure bred Russian wolf hound. Her grandfather is the present world champion and her father is one of the most beautiful dogs I have ever laid eyes upon as is her mother. Her pedigree on both sides is [page 5] superb. Possibly later we may have a kennels section on the farm because we are both so crazy about Russian wolf hounds and the miners around here are always willing to pay fancy prices for dogs if they are worth it. We have big wolf "drives" here, you know, and jack rabbit meets constantly during the season.
It was a sore trial to Silver at first to have the dogs around, but she is reconciled. She simply ignores them as she does Alice and continues to be my shadow. Sleeps with me [missing page(s)?] [page 6] and besides these eggs and the ones we & the Olsons use for ourselves we had as our extra half four dozen and a half to sell this week. Alice is a real little farmerette. She isn't afraid of anything and only comes indoors to eat and sleep. She is a real little pal and can say anything and everything. In fact, she is a regular little chatterbox and the warmest hearted little soul who ever drew breath. Her laugh is wonderful. You simply have to laugh with her! But she is -- oh, so sensitive. A stern -- not even an angry -- look can [page 7] break her heart. I fear for her. Sometimes when I think of all that anyone with her emotional, intense nature will have to go through my heart is filled with a sort of terror. The other day we had a sudden and violent hail storm and Alice, at the window, saw the creatures in the pastures running in frightened, bewildered circles and she began to put her little hands together with a tragic gesture of intensity as she sobbed out "Muddie! Muddie! The hail hits me! The hail hits me!" Whenever she sees anything get hurt -- one of the dogs caught her paw [page 8] in the door the other day -- Alice always says she, herself is hurt. She does actually feel the hurt herself through sympathy. I know how it is because it used to be and still is that way with me, but I don't think I began so young.
She will make a splendid woman if all this emotionalism and imagination is directed into the right channels but hers is the type of nature that can be utterly warped by wrong handling. The wings of the stork rustle again and the only thing that [worries] me is how will Alice [develop] if I should [page 9] be taken away from her. One has to think of such things. Not that I have any undue apprehensions, but you know what no one else but Delia and Ruth & Manuel know -- that it is a life and death matter with me. But I made up my mind to take the chance, for if all goes well Manuel and I will be too unutterably happy to have two children. Much as I wanted Alice, I want this baby still more.
I am quite proud of Alice's behavior at table. We do not have her use a high chair. We have her sit on several books in an [page 10] ordinary chair ↑at breakfast and lunch. Neither of the children come to dinner↓ and she uses the same glass and same cup and saucer for her cocoa -- that we do. She has her own knife and fork and spoon. Otherwise no different utensils and she never spills anything and helps herself to such things as bread etc when they are passed with much dignity. Josephine, too, is blossoming like a little flower and is a sweet obedient child. She has adenoids though not badly, but I am going to have them taken out this summer and then I think she will make even more progress. [page 11]
I have been doing quite a lot of speaking lately. Monday of this week one of the best lawyers in town and another man and myself and Miss Bullock a nurse doing work in this part of the state under the auspices of the State Tuberculosis Society had an open debate in the High School auditorium (where you spoke that evening) on the necessity of a school nurse. We two women against the two men. It was quite exciting and was a genuine victory when we won for the Parent-Teachers Association which had been luke warm, immediately went on [page 12] record with a resolution to be taken to the school board next week asking that they engage a nurse for next year. Tuesday night I talked at the Whittier school on the same subject and the Parent-Teachers Association there went on record with a resolution & committee & tonight I talk to the P.T. Assoc of the Emerson school. The plan is to get the three committees to go together before the board. Also I have made arrangements with Miss Bullock to give use every fourth Saturday in Girard for babies & children under six -- weigh & measure [page 13] them, give advice concerning their diet etc. We have also arranged for two stations in the camps for once a month each. I have made up my mind Girard must have a school nurse -- also that the county must have one & I shan't give up till I get them.
The last of this month I speak for the largest of the Pittsburg women's clubs. I seem to make a talk for them about once a year. But I haven't decided on just what topic. It is kind of fun and keeps one in good form, but there isn't much of a thrill to it at that. The [page 14] audiences are too stodgy, too Kansasy. Sometimes I feel that I really am "a pagan in the mazes of Presbyterianism, a blower of bubbles in a stone quarry." (Manuel's phrase) but it keeps me from getting restless. I do love that peculiar exhilaration -- that sense of power that comes when you hold an audience big or little in your hand. I don't want ever to lose the technical skill of "landing" a laugh.
Sometimes, Auntie, I get terribly homesick for little, old New York. I think after we get the new cashier all settled, [page 15] Manuel and I will really go on for a couple of weeks either in May or June for a good, jolly bat. He is in high spirits because the circulation of the Appeal is steadily increasing. The best thing we ever did from a financial point of view was to buy in there. We took an [option] at that time on Walter Waylands interest (he has a third) and this month we and Louis are going to take it up and we & Louis will own it entirely. Incidentally, Howe -- our advertising manager -- has had his instructions to cut out a certain type of "ad" hereafter. [page 16] I think it is wicked for a paper to accept an ad for a cancer cure when there is no such thing and there is another type of ad that, to me, is just plainly disgusting. Louis and Manuel and Walter and I went up to Kansas City a couple of weeks ago and Howe met us there from Chicago and we threshed the matter out.
In fact, Auntie, it is a very peaceful and successful period for us. We are all in perfect health, we are living in a way that is wholesome and happy and there is no friction of any kind in [page 17] our lives, and the bank, the paper, and the farms have never been in better condition. Best of all it is springtime. If I could just see you before you sailed I should have nothing to ask.
But as I can't, here's wishing you the safest of voyages and the most successful of missions. My heart and my faith go with you. I love you dearly, Auntie, more dearly than you will ever know. And I hope I have the perception to understand now what millions will understand fifty years from now -- that the [page 18] significance of the congress of women has a much more profound aspect than its mere relation to this particular peace. If the women of the world had been organized enough to be articulate the war would never have continued as long as it did. It is surely the people with vision who save the world from itself.
Please give my love to Miss Landsberg, and warmest congratulations upon her honor from Harvard to Dr. Hamilton. I think of dear Miss Smith so often and the lovely [page 19] times I have had with you both. Alice wouldn't be happy without the book of songs arranged by Miss Eleanor Smith. She simply loves it. And will carry it around with her. She loves pictures and will sit by the hour looking through her little books, but she always comes back to her "sing-book" and holds it open & sings and sings. We think she carries a tune remarkably well for a little girl not quite two. She certainly has the gift of concentration. You never saw a little person who [page 20] could become so absorbed.
The little cousins did not come. We got all ready for them to the last detail and then their mother made a sudden recovery or partial recovery and their father thought best not to bring them so far from her. It was just as well and I believe meant everything to them to know we would be glad to have them. Joey and Alice are quite a handful -- bless the darlings!
Once more Auntie, dear, goodbye and good luck!
P.S. Our story is in this month's Atlantic (April)